The gummy bear is made and sold in the USA and comes in at 9,000,000 on the Scoville scale used to measure the heat of chilli peppers. Put into context, that’s 900 times hotter than a jalapeño and over 5 times hotter than a Carolina Reaper. It comes with a “cool shield foil wrap” and an ice pack to ease the pain (because you’ll need it).
If you can handle the heat, you’ll be disappointed to hear there’s only one Lil’ Nitro Gummy Bear available per box but I can’t imagine there’s much demand for a packet of gummies with 9 million Scoville rating.
Lil’ Nitro is a next-level spice challenge that shows that even the sweetest things can be corrupted.
Oh, and it’s not suitable for vegans because it contains gelatine. It’s also not suitable for children despite what this questionable Amazon review says:
Alex (full name Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz) is a French “Self-taught Homecook / Self-taught Filmmaker” and he managed to find a way to make a foodsafe kintsugi hack. The video starts in September 2017 in Alex’s studio with a small bowl which he drops and, naturally, it broke. He then discusses how much he loved it and goes through his kitchen, showing all the other broken utensils he had patched up.
So, rather than send his favourite blue and white bowl to ceramic heaven, he took it to Mizuyo Yamashita, a London-based ceramic artist who specialised in kintsugi. But it’s not only Japanese artforms she uses:
I work now mostly on the potter’s wheel and apply surface decorating techniques that stem from Japanese and Korean traditions such as shinogi, mishima and kohiki or carve the clay surface using Japanese chisels for wood-printing.
I love kintsugi, visually and philosophically. It’s a beautiful technique that teaches so much about life and the objects in our lives. Minimalism is portrayed as an antithesis of our post-postmodern maximalist world. But a lot of it does the opposite with nothing more than licks of white paint and expensive items – even if there aren’t many of them.
Kintsugi offers a chance to repair something beloved; that holds a value in our lives – and gives it a new golden life. Sure, Alex’s “hack” cuts the time down and might remove that time of contemplation but you still have a beautiful bowl that brings you joy. Marie Kondo would approve.
I grew up on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series (known as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK because they thought ninjas were too dangerous for kids). Their pizza love inspired mine and here we are in 2019. That’s why this immediately caught my eye.
ThinkGeek are selling a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cutter and Spatula Set as a “GameStop/ThinkGeek Exclusive”. According to TG, it “adds some flair to boring kitchen items (and sheathes)”. I particularly like the faux-wooden handles like the Turtles’ weaponry in the original series.
I don’t like wine but I am partial to a cup of tea. I never used to drink it that much but I go through about 2-3 cups a day at work. At one point, I even synchronised my cuppas with a bunch of people on the internet until Noel Edmonds killed it. But according to an article from Beverage Daily, “Tea 3.0” is here. I’ll try and explain what that means.
The experts behind the World Tea Expo (being held in Las Vegas in June) are ushering in a new era for the beverage. “Tea 3.0” will be “driven by consumer demand for good taste, good health benefits and convenience”. According to a report on Statista, industry revenue amounts to over $129bn in 2019, with the most generated in Brazil ($16.526bn in 2019).
There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.
But how will good taste, health benefits, and convenience look for tea’s future? And where does the tea as the new wine analogy come in? Well, the tea industry includes sommeliers who taste test before they’re approved for the masses. Experts believe consumers will want to know more about where their brews come from and many brands fake their origins. This poses a problem for brand trust and integrity, hence the need for transparency.
Look. I’m no expert. An ex-girlfriend once bought me a Mr Tea mug in honour of her making me do tea runs for her all the time but I don’t think that qualifies me. What I will say is I doubt the general consumer will care as much about where theirs comes from as long as it tastes how they want and it’s cheap enough. My personal favourites are Ahmad Tea and Whittard of Chelsea but I’ve not bought any of their products in months. As the price range increases, the wine analogy comes into effect and you start to treat the beverage in the same manner. I guess in that way, fancy cuppas are as close as I’ll get to a glasses of wine. I wish I had the bank balance to reflect it.
Despite being one of the blandest vegetables, cauliflower is enjoying success amongst foodies. Now it’s being used as a crust for pizzas at Blaze Pizza, a California-based chain. The brand boasts celebrity investors such as Maria Shriver, John Davis, and Tom Werner, co-owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Blaze Pizza is set to open its fifth Palm Beach County location on Tuesday 7th May and offer two new crusts: cauliflower gluten-free crust with added vegetables and a low-carb crust.
Cauliflower as a crust? It’s not for me but I’m sure people will lap it up in a pursuit to eat healthier. I guess? I don’t know. For more information about the pizza franchise, head over to this Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza Franchise Review.
I add extra cheese to any pizza I buy (and I eat a lot of pizza). But 154 different varieties? I’d go into a cheese coma. 400 Gradi is a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. Its chef Johnny Di Francesco is the man behind a new Guinness World Record – The World’s Cheesiest Pizza.
The previous record stood at 111 by Johnny himself, after his initial 99-Cheese Pizza (a brilliant reference to Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). But he wanted to set a new benchmark. Needless to say, he accomplished it again.
“We had an overwhelming response from our customers, so much so that they petitioned to have it a permanent menu item. Since then we decided to up the ante and create a 154-cheese pizza.”
What I want to know is what cheeses were used? Johnny told the Guinness Book of Records, “the cheeses included the likes of gorgonzola, pecorino, Taleggio, aged cheddar, gouda and of course, many more!” The pizza has been so popular, it sold out of all 400 Gradi venues within five days, with a total of 797 sold. Okay, I need to stop writing about this as my mouth is watering.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is a group of islands in the Caribbean and home to an amazing pizza restaurant. But it isn’t on dry land. Pizza Pi is the Caribbean’s only “food truck boat, specially fitted with a commercial kitchen that cranks out New York-style pizzas”.
Based in the Virgin Islands, you can order a Pizza Pi pizza by boat radio, phone, or email, but they don’t do delivery. Instead, you have to collect your pizza in Christmas Cove. That means people on the west of the islands will need to travel a bit.
Sasha and Tara Bouis were the masterminds behind the Pizza Pi but sold the boat to another couple, Heather and Brian Samelson. Despite changing hands, the food remains the same and there haven’t been any complaints so far.
When I was little, my dad would play a lot of reggae in the car. One of the songs was I Am Not A King, originally recorded by Delroy Wilson. But the version my dad played was by a Jamaican singer called Cocoa Tea. At first I thought it was just a Jamaican name for hot chocolate. I didn’t think much of it after that. 20 years later, it entered my life again in a Gastro Obscura article and my assumption was wrong. In fact, it’s neither hot chocolate nor tea.
Cocoa or chocolate tea is made from mixing grated cocoa balls or sticks with milk and water, before boiling. So in some ways, it’s a lot like hot chocolate. But the secret to a perfect cup is pure unsweetened cocoa. Authentic cocoa balls are best but hard to obtain outside the Caribbean. Adding traditional Caribbean spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger is the proverbial icing on the tea. The biggest difference is the lack of sugar (which is a big part of Caribbean sweet cuisine) and that’s where condensed milk comes in (which is a big part of Caribbean sweet cuisine). This can, of course, be substituted for any kind of milk and the spices can vary depending on where the drink is made.
It’s not even specific to Jamaica and Barbados. Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Dominica and Saint Lucia are some of the islands who sip on the hot beverage. So why is it even called “tea”? Think of it as a Caribbean umbrella term for a hot drink at breakfast.
There is a myriad of old wives’ tales describing ways of curing hangovers. But one popular cure in Turkey is işkembe çorbası, translated as literally “tripe soup”. Naturally, this isn’t vegetarian or vegan but it’s not reserved for the morning after a boozy night either.
İşkembe Çorbası Recipe
1/2 lb. veal tripe (about 230g)
4-5 cups water (about 1 litre)
2 tbs. butter
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk (about 60ml)
2 garlic cloves
Cook the tripe in water and salt for about 1½ – 2 hours or until tender. You can use a pressure cooker to cook it faster. Remove the foam from the surface. Take the cooked tripe out of the water and cut it into bite-size chunks. Keep the water for later.
Melt butter, add flour, stir, and add about 2 cups of the water, stirring constantly. Blend until smooth; then add the tripe. Cook 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat.
Slowly pour the egg yolk and milk into the pot and stir very slowly. Cook for 3-4 more minutes over medium heat. If it’s too thick, add some more boiled water. Pour the soup into bowls.
Add mixture of melted butter and red pepper to the soup. Finally, add the garlic and vinegar in a small bowl, pouring 1 tbs. into the soup.
Other than windmills, clogs, canals, and Johan Cruijff, tulips are a quintessential part of Dutch culture. And thanks to the versatility of vodka, there’s a new brand made of the national flower.
The origins of tulip vodka
Most vodka is made from grain or potatoes but tulip vodka is created using the bulb. Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius grew the flowers in his university garden when it was brought over in the 16th century and a distillery bearing his name make the drink with fermented tulip bulbs.
Two types of tulip tipple
Two types are made:
Dutch Tulip Vodka Pure – comprised of water and 350 fermented tulip bulbs
Dutch Premium Blend – blended with grain spirits and uses only 40 bulbs
However, as only a few retailers stock the vodka in the Netherlands, prices aren’t cheap. The “Pure” blend costs €295 but the “Premium” blend is more reasonable at €48.
Did you know: The clusia plant, native to tropical America, is named after Carolus Clusius.
Alcohol for the palate and the hands
Like many distillers, the makers of Clusius Tulip Vodka are giving away free bottles of Clusius hand sanitizer with every bottle of their vodka. If you’re curious as to why, here’s the reason behind it:
To survive the crisis, Clusius Craft Distillers switched to the production of hand sanitizer alcohol. Normally the distillery makes vodka from tulip bulbs. The tulip vodka is mostly served in cocktail bars and sold at Schiphol airport. At the moment these parties have been shut down and sales numbers have fallen for Clusius. The (online) liquor stores are still open but are also facing a hard time.
The other is the one with the two white girls which I’ll post tomorrow, but back to my all-time fave. AyyOnline was a popular black British Youtuber until he left (and recently came back) and during the chili pepper challenge’s heyday, Ayy joined in. The hottest pepper at the time was the Naga Viper pepper or “Ghost pepper” as it was also known. It was the “World’s Hottest Chili” in 2011 with a rating of 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Pepper X is the unofficial champion now (used in the Hot Ones’ sauce) but the Naga Viper was the king for quite some time.
The featured image for this post is the precise moment before he took the “deadly” bite; the record scratch “you’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation” moment. What follows is hilarious. Cue removal of clothing, ice, yoghurt, and some vomiting. The initial reaction was classic. The instant realisation that you’ve made a bad decision and there’s no way out. Well, not a comfortable one anyway. But like he said, he did it for laughs and he got plenty from me over the years. I’m glad he didn’t live up to the ghost pepper’s name and came back.
Fun facts about chili peppers (courtesy of Wikipedia):
Chilis were part of the Aztecs’ staple diet and originated in Mexico.
The substance that gives chilis their intense heat is called capsaicin.
32.3 million tonnes of green chili peppers and 3.8 million tonnes of dried chili peppers were produced in 2014 worldwide.
China is the world’s largest producer of green chillies, providing 50% of the global total.
Balkan donkeys might as well be golden geese for what they produce. Pule cheese is hard to buy and therefore very expensive (you can try the Zasavica natural reserve in Serbia if you’re really desperate).
What is pule cheese?
Pule cheese (or magareći sir in Serbian) is a type of cheese made from made from 60% donkey milk and 40% goat’s milk.
How much does pule cost?
According to cheese.com, a pound of pulecosts approximately $576 a pound (about £426). But why is it so expensive? Scarcity. Donkey milk is very rare and difficult to produce so not something you’d waste on a cup of tea.
Why is it so rare?
A female donkey (known as a ‘jenny’) only makes around 3 pints of milk a day, which is about 25-30 times less than a cow. There are also fewer solids in donkey milk compared to cow’s milk so more is needed to make the same amount of hard cheese. Then you have to factor in labour costs as machines aren’t cost-effective for such a small enterprise. It’s just 100 endangered Balkan donkeys and a few milkers. You also have to order the cheese in advance before it’s made to reduce waste which makes sense.
What does pule taste like?
You may be wondering what you’re getting for cheese worth so much. Well, don’t expect culinary nirvana (unless you like manchego). The cheese is white and crumbly and packs a strong flavour similar to the La Mancha cheese. It’s nutritional value also shares similarities with another type of milk billions of babies enjoy every day: human breast milk. Amongst the vast array of milk brands on offer for babies, donkey milk is the most unique for sure.
Where can you buy it?
The good news is pule cheese is exported to the UK, Germany and the rest of the world are expected soon but you may have heard in the news a few years ago that Serbia’s own Novak Djokovic bought the world’s entire supply in 2012. I wonder if he had to ‘pule’ some strings to arrange that. *ahem* Sorry, that was too cheesy, even for me.
Pule cheese in numbers
60 – The percentage of donkey milk that goes into making pule cheese (the other 40% comes from goat’s milk)
576 – The cost in USD for a pound of pule
3 – The pints of milk a jenny can make in a day
100 – The number of Balkan donkeys left on the planet
2012 – The year Novak Djokovic bought the world’s entire supply (which has since been replenished)
Update: apparently, there’s a song called Pule Cheese. Do what you will with that information.
Rush Hour was a great movie when it came out in 1998. Like many comedy films, it comes with some great bloopers and this particular one has stuck with me the longest. But what the hell is gefilte fish? I was never inclined to look it up. Until yesterday.
Gefilte fish is a seafood dish is made from poached ground fish, usually carp, whitefish, or pike. Until the 19th-century, gefilte fish was stuffed in the skin of the fish but nowadays you’ll find it made into quenelles or fish balls. It’s a popular Jewish holiday meal, given its origins, but the dish can be found around the world. Including planes as part of kosher meals no doubt. And Chris Tucker just couldn’t get his tongue around it. And I don’t blame him.
There’s only one thing better than a spicy food challenge: watching people’s reactions after they eat it. My all-time favourite remains AyyOnline when he ate the “ghost pepper”, followed by the two white girls who nearly died doing the same thing. But SungWon Cho – known online as ProZD – took the one chip challenge without any of the drama. And his wife, Anne Marie, joined him.
It’s happened to me before but I’ve refrained from calling the cops on them vendors. This person couldn’t contain his anger. Gloucestershire Constabulary received a call from a person complaining about their incorrect order, much to the police’s chagrin. Officers took to Facebook to issue a warning to would-be pizza complainants:
“If your pizza topping is not correct, please do not ring the police on 999 to report it […] 999 is for emergency calls.”
Naturally, Facebook users ensued with their own clever quips. We still think Donald Trump eating pizza crust first is a bigger crime to cuisine (and his snivelling existence a crime against humanity.)